Subject: Whaleing/IWC:KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE BALL! (fwd)

mike williamson (
Sat, 7 Nov 1998 13:57:15 -0500 (EST)

Date: Sat, 7 Nov 1998 07:27:50 EST


In amongst all this focus on the Makah Indian whaling authorisation, let's not
take our eye off the REAL ball.  The latest news from the Japanese (their
launching of a new whaling ship and complains about whales taking too many
fish from their fishermen), plus similar protestations from the Norwegians, is
a blatant excuse.  Leading up to the forthcoming International Whaling
Commission (IWC) meeting, they are using the fisheries problem to pressure for
the real intent - the restart of commercial whaling. 

For the past 10 years, at each annual IWC meeting, the Japanese have claimed
'cultural' and 'indigenous' whaling for their coastal population.  Each time
they have been refused a quota by the IWC because they have is no subsistence
need.  They have assisted and used the Makah with the intent of subverting the
IWC criteria for aboriginal subsistence whaling; the only whale slaughter
(apart from 'scientific' whaling, which the Japanese already use as a guise
for commercial whaling) allowed outside the world-wide moratorium.  AND THEY
HAVE NOW GOT IT.  The United States, by the back-door deal with Russia
allowing the Makah to whale without an IWC recognised 'subsistence' need,
broke the rules governing this criteria.  Now, under the new 'rules', anyone
who can prove a 'cultural' background in whaling (including the Japanese and
Norwegians, but there are many more) will get IWC approval to slaughter
whales: or argue that if the U.S. can do, so can we. That's is the precedent
set by the U.S./ Makah!

This is the true damage the U.S. has done by authorising Makah whaling: and
they have assisted whaling interests to undermine the IWC.  We are not just
talking about the killing and maiming of 34 gray whales here: the door has
been opened for the slaughter of thousands upon thousands of all species.   In
addition, we have the Irish Proposal to the IWC (full 'coastal' whaling - up
to 200 miles offshore): a proposal which a lot of the Commissioners are
considering as a means to brake the so-called deadlock within the IWC: combine
that with the fact that the Irish IWC Commissioner is now the IWC Chairman and
the future does not bode well for our cetacean cousins.  And if you add to
that the IWC's Revised Management Plan (RMP) that sets quotas for the amount
of whales to be killed is almost in place; and the Norwegian/ Japanese push
for downlisting of whales at CITES, you've got one big nightmare scenario for
whales.  There is no doubt about it, whale killers and their supporters have
got us protectionists fighting on all fronts at this time.

Remember this: it is our opinion that the greatest symbol against uncontrolled
world trade is the current whaling moratorium.  Any Government or multi-
national organisation promoting unrestricted world trade must eventually break
that symbol if they are to run riot with the world's fisheries resources.

David Smith
Campaigns Director
Breach Marine Protection
3, St. John's Street
East Yorkshire
DN14 5QL
Tel/Fax: +44 1405 769375

Popular (Peoples) Resolution on Abolition of Inhumane
Commercial Slaughter of Whales - World-Wide Sign-On Petition:

Rapid Env. Disaster - Response. & Rescue
(R.E.'D.R.Res) Hotline: 0973 898282

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